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Nov 11, 2012, 07:16 AM
John
jk6672's Avatar
Discussion

paint or monokote?


I'm planning on picking up my first balsa and I'd like to know which the preferred method of covering. Glass and paint or monokote? Interested in a silver scheme.
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Nov 11, 2012, 04:31 PM
Registered User
gene6029's Avatar
Both methods have skills required to apply them. Monokkote can be applied generally faster, but can look like a pigs breakfast if not applied correctly, especially silver. I use both methods & each has its purpose. I'm guessing you have not done either yet so try and find someone nearby to help you get started. Check with a local club & you should find someone more than willing to help. Be prepaired for strong opinions on either way. Best way to find out is to try each for yourself. .....Gene
Nov 11, 2012, 05:27 PM
John
jk6672's Avatar
No I have no experience applying these techniques to planes. This may sound silly, but when I was younger I tinted car windows and build glass subwoofer enclosures, so I think I'm one step ahead of no experience at all. I guess it’s just a matter of preference then.
Nov 12, 2012, 08:00 AM
Nick
Nicksbbq's Avatar
Monokkote can be applied generally faster, but can look like a pigs breakfast if not applied correctly, especially silver. Check with a local club & you should find someone more than willing to help. .....Gene[/QUOTE]

Gene gave you some good advise. Nothing can beat getting help from someone with experience. I suggest you use Ultracote for your fist covering job because if you mess something up Ultracote can be reheated and removed or repositioned. Monokote cant be removed without a mess , re-sanding etc.

Nick
Nov 12, 2012, 10:54 AM
Registered User
What is the life expectancy of your plane?
One person very knowledgeable on this subject, Cafeen Man, suggested
that if your plane doesn't last at least two years then the added work of
glassing and painting wasn't worth it.
Makes sense to me - and I don't glass yet.

Good Luck,
KW_Counter
ps. I learned to fly in El Centro.
Nov 13, 2012, 07:35 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
While there is wisdom in Caffeen Man's statement, I don't necessarily agree.

I paint many of my models because I enjoy the process, and the results.

This is why I BUILD models in the first place. I enjoy the process. Concern for longevity only comes into play when I decide to fly them.
Nov 17, 2012, 03:56 PM
Never trust laughing dolphins
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicksbbq
Gene gave you some good advise. Nothing can beat getting help from someone with experience. I suggest you use Ultracote for your fist covering job because if you mess something up Ultracote can be reheated and removed or repositioned. Monokote cant be removed without a mess , re-sanding etc.

Nick
Good advise when it comes to the use of Ultracote, bad advise when it comes to the general statement of looking for someone else's experience.

Why not just let the newbie go for it and gain the required experience himself.

The comments bordering on elitism when people are just looking for some general advice on where or how to start gaining there own experience is downright silly sometimes, geesh.
Nov 17, 2012, 03:59 PM
Never trust laughing dolphins
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCrump
I paint many of my models because I enjoy the process, and the results.

This is why I BUILD models in the first place. I enjoy the process. Concern for longevity only comes into play when I decide to fly them.
I totally agree. And I definitely prefer to fly models that I actually like to look at. Aesthetics are important, even when ugly planes can fly too.

I tend to re-enforce all my foam planes with fiber glass tape as I wish to extent the life expectancy beyond whatever it would be without it. Many times they've got some good electronics on board too, so it makes sense on multiple levels.
Nov 23, 2012, 02:26 PM
John
jk6672's Avatar
I picked up my first balsa the other day and it will be delivered this coming Monday. I know I had dreams of going giant, but I didn't, I went with a TF P-47 ARF 60.
Since this is covered I guess I'll be going the monokote route first. I have a heat gun already in my arsenal of tools, but I don't have a iron. What iron is recommended?
Even though this one is covered, down the road in going to attempt classing. I just think a painted bird looks nicer, and from what I've been reading there looks to be regular maintenance involved with covering.
Nov 24, 2012, 03:34 PM
Registered User
I use and would recommend the Coverite 21st Century sealing iron. It's around $32 at Tower. A somewhat less expensive, but still capable iron, is the Coverite Black Baron. It costs about $20.

Both of these irons allow you to adjust temperature. I think the 21st Century iron has a better shaped shoe than the less expensive iron. The 21st Century model has given me quite a few years of trouble free service.

A smaller trim iron is also a very helpful—some would say essential—tool for covering with plastic film.

I would also invest in several Top Flite Hot Socks to cover the shoe of the iron so you don't scratch the surface of the plastic film during application. Each only costs about $3. A Coverite pocket thermometer is useful, but not an absolute necessity, to double check the temperature of the iron.

It really helps to have a leather glove to wear on the hand that's pulling the covering around compound curves while the other hand operates the heat gun. The glove prevents you from roasting your fingers with the heat gun.

One other thing to recommend: A book titled Tom's Techniques by Harry Higley. It's the most comprehensive work I've ever come across about how to use plastic films to cover RC airplanes. Sadly, it is out of print but you might come across it someday on the Internet. That's how I learned to cover aircraft.

TopFlite sells a one hour DVD named Secrets of Great Covering with TopFlite Monokote that's actually very helpful if you are just starting to work with Monokote or other plastic films. It's $15 at Tower (product number LXKSB4).
Nov 24, 2012, 11:45 PM
John
jk6672's Avatar
Thanks for the tips.
Dec 02, 2012, 08:35 PM
Hope to get out of life alive
kenh3497's Avatar
I just read some one was buying the appropriate size white socks and stretching them over his iron. Like 6 pair for $3 or so.

Ken


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